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Editor’s Picks From Around the Web
MD: Maryland governor unveils program to fight heroin
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled what he called a holistic strategy to deal with Maryland’s growing heroin problems, but stopped short of declaring the “state of emergency” he vowed to institute after last year’s election.
MI: Hacker attacks besieging Michigan’s computer network
The number of daily attacks on the state government’s computer systems is staggering and growing in both incidents and cost.
VT: Vermont governor announces deal to get licenses restored
Many Vermonters with overdue traffic fines will have a chance to clear their debts — and get their licenses back —under a pilot program announced by Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin. Offenders may pay per delinquent ticket on “driver restoration day” March 20.
AK: Legal marijuana: how Alaska’s new measure compares with other states’ laws
Unlike the other states where legalization has taken effect, Alaska is a solid Republican state – a sign that different constituencies are supporting such measures. Voters in Alaska, which is also known for a strong libertarian streak, passed the initiative in an off-year election where pre-election polls on the issue were all over the place.
CA: California Senate questions why so many foster kids are being drugged
The California Senate Human Services Committee began deliberations on what some members called the “staggering number” of foster children on psychiatric medications as it considers a wide range of possible policy changes to reduce the unwarranted use of the powerful drugs.
GA: Bill ending Georgia electric vehicle credits gains new life
Legislation ending Georgia’s lucrative tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles was resurrected in a House subcommittee under curious circumstances.
SC: South Carolina closing second minimum-security prison
Saying fewer inmates are returning to the corrections system, South Carolina officials said the state will close its second minimum-security prison in a year.
TN: Harvard-educated teacher can’t be principal in Tennessee
Since 2009, the state restricts principals to graduates of an approved in-state college or university master’s program. Out-of-state applicants must have at least three years of experience as a principal to receive a license.
ME: Chief Justice says fewer Mainers awaiting trial should be held in jail
Maine’s chief justice outlined the goals of the Task Force on Pretrial Judicial Reform to find less costly and more effective means than incarceration to handle defendants who owe fines, whose charges do not merit a jail sentence or who are too poor to post bail.
NE: Nebraska to pay Kansas .5 million over river dispute
Nebraska water authorities — while acknowledging that the state will write a hefty check to Kansas under the U.S. Supreme Court ruling — said Nebraska was the big winner because Kansas will receive only a fraction of the million it had originally sought. The dispute centered on Nebraska’s use of water from the Republican River.
ND: House: No to concealed-carry in Capitol; yes in public parks
The North Dakota House narrowly defeated a measure that would have allowed elected officials with concealed carry permits to carry firearms in public buildings, but agreed to allow concealed weapons in public parks.
IA: Gas tax increase headed for governor’s desk
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has said he will probably sign the 10-cent-a-gallon gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase, the first hike in 26 years.
TX: Despite low prices, Texas oil group stays optimistic
Texas’ oil and gas industry is touting its record-breaking 2014 contributions to state and local government coffers, an effort to stay positive amid 2015’s far gloomier revenue outlook. State and local governments collected .7 billion in taxes and royalties from the industry last year, the highest total in Texas history.
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